Obama Son Football: Is The Sport Too Dangerous? The President Weighs In [REPORT]

By IScience Times Staff Reporter on January 27, 2013 4:14 PM EST

Obama
President Obama is not sure he'd let a son play football - the dangers are too great and price too steep, he says. Head injuries have been a growing concern in recent months, as more concussions come to light. (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

If Obama had a son, he probably wouldn't let him play football, the president told The New Republic magazine recently. 

"I'm a big football fan," Obama said, "but I have to tell you if I had a son, I'd have to think long and hard before I let him play football."

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Obama said that like other fans he has "to wrestle with the fact that [football] will [likely] change gradually to try to reduce some of the violence. In some cases, that may make it a little bit less exciting, but it will be a whole lot better for the players, and those of us who are fans maybe won't have to examine our consciences quite as much."

A study found that football players are more likely to die of brain injuries, iScienceTimes reported in December. "Football has changed a great deal [since the late 1980s]," Robert Cantu, study author and co-director of the Sports Legacy Institute, told USA Today. "The players are bigger and the game is faster now compared to then. It wouldn't surprise me if the problem isn't worse in the modern era. Also it wasn't common in that earlier era for players to start as a kid . The modern generation is starting younger so they've had longer exposure to brain trauma."

Another study, published in the journal Pediatrics last year, found that repeated blows to the head increase the risk of violence. Researchers looked at 850 high-school students, and found that of those who suffered a head injury, 44 percent engaged in some form of violence the following year, compared to 34 percent who did not report a head injury.

"There are hundreds, if not thousands of guys who are dealing with issues and pain and stuff," Former Browns quarterback Bernie Kosar said recently. "Literally, I think a lot of them are losing hope."

"NFL players have a union, they're grown men, they can make some of these decisions on their own, and most of them are well-compensated for the violence they do to their bodies." Obama told The New Republic.

"You read some of these stories about college players who undergo some of these same problems with concussions and so forth and then have nothing to fall back on. That's something that I'd like to see the NCAA think about."

© 2012 iScience Times All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.

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